Monday, January 31, 2011

Club Balai Isabel: A Quick Escape from the Metro

It was almost a year ago when we went to Club Balai Isabel for a weekend getaway.

From the poolside, there is a panoramic view of Taal Volcano.

Photo by Enan Sison

We stayed in one of the Family Villas which has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, a lounge and a lanai. Rates are about Php 14,000 per night, so if you are a big group, this is a good choice.

A view from our veranda.

In the lanai, we grilled some goodies like chops and veggies.

The place is also very environment-friendly, where one can reunite again with nature. They also have a spa where you can have a relaxing massage.

Aside from the villas, they also have hotel/condo type accommodation near the pool area.

Special thanks to Kuya Enan and Shoti for some of the photos.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book Review: Instyle Secrets of Style

Way back when I was still a trainer, I always hear my colleague say "Walk the talk". This simply means whatever we preach, we have to make sure that the people around us sees us doing the same. So when I conduct Beauty Discovery Workshops, I see to it that, I myself is decently beautiful, with makeup properly applied on and with appropriate wardrobe.

I was also sent to John Robert Powers to sit in one of their imaging workshops (thanks to Yvette Manale of JRP Makati). There, I listened thoroughly to Miss Marysyll Pengson, a model and image conslutant. She talked about the elements of style and all other the things one should consider when dressing up. After the 2-day class, I told myself, I shouldn't stop there. So I tried doing my own research. There I came across the book - Instyle: Secrets of Style.
I love shopping for clothes and shoes and bags and accessories. But i still wonder why there are so many instances when I face my closet and feel I have nothing to wear. As I browsed this book, you will learn which pieces to keep and which ones to toss. You will also learn the concept of COST per WEAR, which will make you realize that indeed, you should be investing in classic pieces like plain shirts, classic suits, little black dresses and denims.
The book also advocates having your own signature style, like Coco Channel with her strands of pearls or Victoria Beckham with her killer stilettos. Whatever your chosen style is, make sure you are comfortable with it and have the guts to pull it off. One must remember, style always works hand in hand with attitude. If you are too timid, then do not wear a red suit which is too fierce.

Here in this book, I also learned about flattery, fit and hang of different clothes like sheath dresses, skirts, pants, etc.

As I am also a big fan of sarongs and shawls, this section became one of my favorites. This teaches you how to tie your wraps in different stylish ways.

Your spectacles also plays a part in your overall get up. It is part of the package so make sure you know what fits your facial shape.

And of course, what is a nice dress without a stylish pair of shoes? As Victoria Beckham said "wear classics so you can satisfy your fetish, in my case, its shoes."

I also have the other Instyle book (Getting Gorgeous) which is about hair and makeup which I shall be reviewing next.

Reminiscing Baguio: Cafe by the Ruins and La Top Fresh Organic Produce

I was browsing my photos folder and saw our old snapshots from our Baguio trip last year. Each time I go to Baguio (I used to go there on a business trip), I see to it that I visit my favorite cafe - Cafe by the Ruins, which is just a walk away from Holiday Park Hotel or Palladin Hotel where I always stay.
Cafe by the Ruins is situated at the old garden theater of Phelps Whitmarsh, the first civil governor of Benguet. The house was built early in the last century and destroyed in World War II.
The cafe offers gourmet food with a comfy touch. Imagine the classic Filipino pandesal with herbed cheese spread (ricotta cheese & yogurt blended w/ butter,garlic, chives and paprika) paired with Chocolate de Agua (pure, bittersweet chocolate tablea dissolved in water, the Mexican way, with a touch of sugar). They also offer a wide array of pasta, salads and entrees.

The interiors are nevertheless antique, yet homey. I could spend a whole day here just reading a good book and sipping my hot chocolate. Cafe by the Ruins is also a haven for photographers and artists alike.
They also have a bunch of goodies like wines, coffee, teas - all products of Benguet.

They also offer pates, sweets, ricotta cheese and yogurt.

A wide variety of jams and spreads are also available. The food and the ambiance is not only what drives me crazy about Cafe by the Ruins. They also have La Top, a fresh organic market.

As I am a beauty and wellness advocate, I believe that real beauty must come from within. And that means eating fresh goodies all the time. I must admit, I am not a big fan of veggies, but when it's fresh broccoli, asparagus and mushrooms we are talking about, I swear I can have the entire week munching on these goodies. Steamed, stir-fried or soup. I even tell the lady from La Top that their shiitake mushrooms motivates me to wake up in the most unholy hour (like 6 am, I am not a morning person, bow!) just to make sure I get one because they only have about 3 packs a day, and it's selling like hotcakes.

I also see to it that I bring home fresh lettuce, carrots, alfalfa and cauliflower for my hubby and brother who loves eating salads.

They also have free range eggs, fresh home-made yogurt which I see to it that I hoard a pint or two, honey which I love adding in my bowl of yogurt.

And what is a Baguio trip without bringing home lots of strawberries? Fresh, jam, tea, yogurt, name it, La Top has it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Makeup Designory Workshop at Purebeauty Serendra

I was so honored to be part to Makeup Designory's Workshop yesterday at PureBeauty in Serendra. Here's what I got from their website ( )

A school by make-up artists, for make-up artists.

Make-Up Designory (MUD) was founded in 1997 in North Hollywood, California. Today we teach students from around the world at our main campus in Burbank, California, and our East Coast branch campus in New York’s vibrant SoHo neighborhood. At MUD, we are dedicated to providing valuable training in the fundamentals of study. For this reason, both of our campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSC), a private, non-profit, independent accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Knowing that it is one of the prestige makeup schools in the United States, I immediately told myself that I should attend.

Their products are more of a professional line, just like MAC and Makeup Forever.
PureBeauty also sells NYX cosmetics, one of my favorite makeup brands.
Makeup Designory's Lead Makeup Artist and Trainor Reiva Kruze taught us how to do a green smokey eyes.
What caught my attention is the way Reiva applied the mascara. She did not use the wand but instead, she used the mini fan brush. I love their mascara as you can really use the product up to last drop because it is in a tube that you can squeeze or even cut open.

Reiva also did not use an eyelash curler. Instead, she used her hand to curl the model's lashes.

Makeup Designory is also offering makeup classes. Prices range at Php 40k to 196k.